It was a mere two weeks ago that NHL star Steven Stamkos suffered a broken right tibia after an ugly collision with the goal post during the second period of a 3-0 loss to the B’s at TD Garden, a tough blow to a Lightning team that was atop the Eastern Conference at the time. After undergoing surgery a day later in which a metal rod was inserted in his leg to secure the bone, the projected timetable for Stamkos’ return was more than a few months. Even beyond the blow to the Lightning, Team Canada also took a potential hit as Stamkos was pegged as one of the top players on the roster ahead of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Well some of those fears were put to rest this morning, when the 23-year-old Stamkos WALKED into a press conference WITHOUT the assistance of crutches.
Coach and Front Office Wasting No Time Lineup Adjustments
Like most coaches in the NHL do, Claude Julien has taken a beating during his time in Boston from Bruins fans who think they know better than the veteran headmaster (and I’ll admit, I’ve been guilty of it too). Everything from his systems, his ability to motivate, to how he handles young players has been called into question especially in recent seasons, which is a little strange given the Bruins’ success. Perhaps one of the biggest pain points for fans has been how the team has handled underperforming players, as during prior seasons the coach and front office has generally continued to trust said players while they worked through whatever issue they may be facing. But as the Black and Gold roll past the ten game mark of the 2013-14 season with a relatively average record, one thing is becoming abundantly clear: those days are quickly drawing to a close.
With just over a week until the Bruins take on the Tampa Bay Lightning for their first game of the 2013-14 NHL season, the team’s roster is starting to take shape while management and the coaching staff get in their final looks at players that are on the proverbial bubble. The black and gold are traveling to Winnipeg today for a “home and home-away-from-home” series with the Jets. The two teams will play in Winnipeg tomorrow night, and face-off in Saskatoon on Friday in the final game of the preseason.